Wednesday February 27, 2008
ONG Chong Swen, the Barisan Nasional
candidate for Subang Jaya state seat, arrived 10 minutes
early for our tea meeting at 5pm at the Chatters Cafe and
Restaurant in USJ 11, Subang Jaya.
I was impressed and told her that she was
the first candidate among those I had interviewed to arrive
ahead of time.
Ong: ‘I have a
positive mind and age is not a factor to me’
The 57-year-old mother of three looked
fresh although she said she had been on her feet during her
campaign trail visiting business and eating outlets.
Her hair was in place and she looked
She had driven herself to the restaurant
ordered fresh lime juice to soothe her throat, which she
said felt sore due to all the talking lately.
“I attribute my high energy level, spirit
and clear complexion to the nutrients I take daily.
“Besides this, I have a positive mind and
age is not a factor to me,” said the Amway diamond
distributor who is contesting for the first time in the
The former secondary school teacher and
University Malaya graduate is involved in a straight fight
with DAP’s Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan, a newcomer.
I told her that I was taking a personal
interest in her because I live in Subang Jaya and am also a
voter in the constituency.
Ong beamed with happiness when she heard
that I was one of the 44,569 electorates in her
constituency, which was won uncontested by three-term
incumbent Datuk Lee Hwa Beng.
Lee is now contesting for the Kelana Jaya
Ong immediately gave me her manifesto and
biodata pamphlet titled You and Me Towards Excellence.
It had a colour photograph of her family printed on it
besides newspaper cuttings on her past activities.
The Kelana Jaya Wanita MCA chief leaned
back in her seat and folded her arms when asked how she felt
about contesting against a 29-year-old candidate, who is a
lawyer and resident of Subang Jaya.
“Hannah is young and just got married and
has a long way to go.
“You need wisdom, maturity and capability
to serve this urban community,” Ong said, adding that she
was one of the first residents to reside in SS15 in Subang
Jaya, in 1976.
At the time she said nobody wanted to buy
houses in the area because the housing scheme did not have
adequate facilities but that currently people wanted to live
in the area.
“I have seen every brick being placed to
build this township over the past three decades and all my
children were born and raised here.
“Now I have over 100 extended family
members and relatives staying here and this is my kampung
now,” said Ong who was born in Kota Baru.
There are zero squatters in the
constituency, which stretches from Subang Jaya to USJ to
Sunway Pyramid and part of Batu Tiga. Subang Jaya is dubbed
as the most IT savvy area in the country.
“I have just set up my website to
communicate with the people here more effectively.
“My incumbent (Lee Hwa Beng) has set very
high standards in serving the people here and I will work
very hard to continue his legacy and reach out to the
people,” said Ong who is married to a housing developer.
The Subang Jaya electorate is made up of
Chinese (56.4%), Malays (32.0%) and Indians (9.8%). Among
the pressing issues in the constituency are traffic
congestion and security.
Currently, the Subang Jaya Municipal
Council has installed 90 CCTVs at hot spots for safety.
“Top on my list is seeking ways to improve
traffic flow woes. It is not going to be easy but I am
determined to tackle it because it affects all of us,'' she
Both Ong and Yeoh are also using their
network of family and friends to vote them in.
Yeoh, a former student of SMK Subang Utama,
said her in-laws are Indians and she was determined to stand
up for multiculturalism and racial harmony.
Ong on the other hand, has an edge over
Yeoh because the constituency is a Barisan stronghold.
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